IHI p.l.c. boasts a large-scale catering operation, providing event and contract catering, including airlines flying from Malta. It also owns the Costa Coffee franchise in Malta.
Costa Coffee was born in 1971 when two brothers started supplying roast coffee to caterers and speciality Italian coffee shops. Whitbread, a UK-based company, acquired it in 1995 and Costa grew exponentially. Costa Coffee was later acquired by Coca Cola in 2018 and an ambitious worldwide development plan is currently being rolled out with the aim of becoming the world’s favourite coffee brand. It now operates in 31 different countries, including Malta.
Costa Coffee roasts in-house some 45,000 tons of coffee beans per annum in a €42 million roastery in Essex. And all its output is guaranteed to be of the highest standards. Believe it or not, Gennaro Pelliccia, the official Costa Coffee taster, has his tongue insured for €12 million!
Costa Coffee first opened in Malta in 2012 at the Malta Airport. Since then, it has bloomed into 15 stores dotted across Malta: Balzan, Sliema, St Julian’s, M’Xlokk, Mriehel, Luqa, Paceville, Sliema, Floriana, Valletta and Mosta. Plans include some new stores in the north of the island opening in the coming months.
CEO Christina Galea aims high. In 2020, Costa Coffee Malta ranked Best in Europe in Costa’s yearly Brand Excellence audit. That’s no easy feat at all! Christina explains: ‘Being a franchise, we must undergo a yearly audit to ensure we have reached Costa’s high standards.’ She explains that a Brand Excellence Representative visits Costa outlets across the world, including Malta, to ensure that each one strives to exceed brand requirements across all areas, including health and safety and customer service. Costa’s baristas are also put to the test. The audit ensures that each drink meets standard operating procedures and follows the brand’s recipes and precise directions to create the perfect brew.
She adds with much pride: ‘Costa’s brand excellence is a comprehensive examination of all aspects of the Costa brand from coffee quality to cleanliness and customer satisfaction, ensuring that we always offer the best comprehensive possible service. Malta achieved an average score of 95.4. That makes us all so proud!’
Insider Plus was naturally impressed with all this. Still, its admiration for Costa Coffee grew even fonder when we found out about the philosophy behind its principles and objectives and its sensitivity to the need of others and the environment.
Costa Coffee reduces its carbon footprint by ensuring that all smart coffee machines get a rest when they shut up shop every night. They also recycle all their coffee sacks into carpet underlay. In 2012, Costa Roastery in the UK received international environmental accreditation. Proudly, they boast that it was the first accreditation of its kind anywhere in the world! It was built sustainably, with an altogether Energy Efficient LED lighting scheme, electric car charging points, zero-waste-to-landfill, on-site renewable energy, and rainwater harvesting. One must add that Costa Coffee has also made its iconic paper cups recyclable. Most importantly, Costa ensures that all coffee is sourced responsibly and only purchases 100% Rainforest Alliance certified beans.
Insider Plus was impressed when it was offered a quick glimpse at the workings of Costa Coffee Foundation, which is now ten years old.
At the core of Costa’s responsibilities, is the Costa Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of children in coffee-growing communities by providing a safe, quality education. It is Costa’s vision to eradicate poverty in these coffee-growing communities.
Over the years, Costa Foundation has transformed more than 100,000 lives by building over 100 schools and 800 classrooms in 77 coffee neighborhoods across 10 countries.
There is also the initiative Rainforest Alliance, supporting farmers and farmworkers worldwide with every sip of coffee. Costa achieves this by encouraging farmers to grow crops and manage ranchlands in a way that looks after the land for the long-term. It also offers social, economic and environmental benefits to farmers, such as access to schools and healthcare.
No less admirable is the long list of activities organised by the Malta Costa Foundation. A collaboration has been established between Costa Malta and The Sigma Foundation to raise funds to provide two schools in Ethiopia with water conservation equipment. In May 2022, Christina Galea, CEO of Costa Coffee Malta participated in an expedition to Santiago de Compostela with Keith Marshall, Founder of the Sigma Foundation and a team of people with the aim to raise funds for the building of a school in Bonga, Ethiopia.
Through personal fundraising activities a total of €2,200 was donated towards this cause and the school in Bonga Ethiopia which will be inaugurated in January 2023.
This collaboration fits hand in glove with the common and aligned purpose of all involved to provide education to those less fortunate. It just so happens that these countries are also very often coffee growing communities which Costa wishes to support sustainably.
The Costa Foundation brought to our attention two projects which both required a basic resource which we all take for granted every day: the preservation of water.
These are the projects which shall be supported through these initiatives: one school in Wote has just been upgraded by the Costa Foundation and requires a water reservoir of 5m3. This water will benefit over 1400 students and teachers. The cost of the reservoir is 2,461 USD.
The second project currently being funded by the Costa Foundation is for Adeyi school and includes two water tanks and five water points for the school and community, one new spring, 7 km of pipeline and 7 WASHCo members training with a total beneficiaries of 7,538 communities and students. There is now an additional need for two concrete reservoirs which will cost $7,000 USD.
The Costa Coffee Malta Team has also collected funds through other in-house activities to assist its Costa Foundation in its wide and varied assistance to those who are more needy.
I felt truly moved and decided to attend Costa Coffee more often since I am sure more help will be offered to those thousands who have no public face but a hard life to endure.
INDEED, A COFFEE WITH A PURPOSE.